Growing up we lived paycheck to paycheck surrounded by a very affluent community that always had what was new and expensive without much care as to what it cost. As a child you grow up with these symbols of wealth and what a happy life is through toys. A beautiful figure who is seemingly perfect; perfect life, perfect boyfriend, perfect friends. She has it all; closet full of the newest fashions, multiple fancy cars for every occasion, and a dreamhome. As the poor kid in class with the handmade clothes who never went on family vacations, these toys were a reminder of how much I didn’t belong and never would. I brought these toys into our reality. I created a world where for whatever reason the dreamhome has been abandoned. Maybe it was foreclosed on, or maybe the occupants were run off. It has been left behind and is in ruins. Squatters have set up camp and taken out their aggressions against the excess that shut them out and kept them down. It is the end of an era. Things aren’t going to come so easily anymore. The world we live in is going to make it harder to achieve this idealized life and along the way, hopefully, people will realize that it is all bullshit. Fittingly, I was down to my last few rolls of Kodak Portra VC; a beautiful film that electrifies magenta and yellow hues that has since been discontinued. I wanted to send it off in the best possible way. This series is my love letter to that film and my proclamation that girls will not be told that their value is based on material facades and unattainable goals.
i was born in fort worth, texas in the early 80s. it was a great place to be a kid. full of nature, wildlife, and wide open spaces. we moved to the d.c. area for most of my adolescence, but texas never left my parents' hearts. eventually they moved back to the city they always felt was home. what they came back to was a place that had been overrun by the natural gas industry. large drills were erected on every swath of open space, totaling over 1,000 active wells within fort worth city limits. one such drill with a tarp barrier around it was across the street from homes in my parents' neighborhood, less than a football field away from where kids play. homes will sit on the market waiting for buyers, but no one will buy when you can smell chemicals in the air and drinking water. an area not known to have earthquakes prior now experiences tremors. in 2011-12 with my holga in hand i documented the beauty that this place still has where the wildflowers fight to take back their landscape.
not your doll
photoshop is now at the tip of everyone's fingertips. when images reach the art department of a publication, ad agency, or stock image house they become riddled with notes for retouching: make the waist smaller, breasts bigger, whiten teeth, sometimes even a head swap is thrown in. with these tools, imaginary bodies and impossible ideals are created and sent out into the ether to be consumed by the general public, including elementary school-aged girls first becoming aware of their own bodies. our idea of femininity is “frankensteined.” the first image that was created for this series in 2009 was “hallux ridigus,” taken the afternoon the bandages came off my feet from having a bilateral bunionectomy, a relatively common, and widely preventable, surgery. when I went back to work, what I heard shocked me: “how soon can you wear heels?”